The following is an exerpt from “My Life In The Dirt” available at Amazon in Kindle format at  This brief bit is about Geotechnical Drilling, and the crazy people working in that area of expertise.  My introduction to them was rather abrupt, but probably not uncommon.

The very first time I met a driller was memorable.  In 1970 I was still not yet groomed in geotechnical boring logging.  My training in that area started late in 1970, but until then, the drill rig would show up from a neighboring city complete with a Golder technician from another office.  I was still an innocent teenager who had yet to be tarnished by a driller, my day was fast approaching. 

Once John told me that I had to take some empty jars for samples out to a rig working in the country near the city.  Off I went in pursuit of a drill rig, the station wagon loaded down with boxes of empty jars.  I pulled off the county road with my load of sample jars.  I looked across a soy bean field and saw the rig and where the truck mounted rig had entered the field and proceeded to follow the same path.  For those of you that don’t know, soy beans grow to about three feet in height, about the height of the hood of a 1970 Dodge Station Wagon.  Zipping along the flat field, soy beans flying in all directions I followed the path as best I could.  I could still see the drill rig in the distance but lost sight of the trail I had been following.  I stopped mid field and stood next to the car.  The rig was one still one field over.  Honking my horn I got the attention of the driller who waved and then motioned me to drive over to the rig.

Hopping back into the car I took off directly towards the rig, beans flying.  It is an interesting fact that farmers plow and plant all the way up to the edge of any creeks that may run through their fields.  At the time of this incident I was not aware of that fact but it would soon be a fact that I will never forget.  Zipping along at about 20 mph the beans suddenly turned into long grass which suddenly turned into a ten foot deep ditch.  The 1970 Dodge Station Wagon did not have modern day stop on a dime, or stop on soy bean, brakes and by time I realized what was about to occur it didn’t matter anyway.  The car ended up nose down almost completely vertical in a ditch with about one foot of water in the bottom of it.  I clambered out of the car and climbed up the side of the bank to the edge.  Looking over at the drill rig, now only about 100 feet away, on the other side of the ditch, I got my first impression of what drillers are like.  The driller, the helper and the technician were all holding their sides and roaring in laughter.  This laughter didn’t stop for at least half an hour as about 1/3 of the car was visible above the soy beans.  After they calmed down they drove the truck down the field to a “bridge” and into the field I was mostly in.  A quick chain to the bumper and the car was extracted from the ditch.  Minor shaping of the chrome grill had the car back to near perfect condition. 

The drillers admitted to me they knew the ditch was there, but wanted to see if the new guy would find it the hard way.  To this day, I still tend to let the new guys learn things the hard way, more on that later.  A couple of days later John Capps showed up at work in a Taxi.  Apparently the water pump had broken on the station wagon and was being towed to a garage.  I told him it was probably due to the mileage, John never did learn of the soy bean field incident.